New Delhi, Mar 8: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said that United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was handed over a “burning” Kashmir in 2004 when it was elected to power. Gandhi added that Congress’ policy for the troubled state under former prime minister Manmohan Singh was to bridge connections among people. Speaking to a gathering at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore, Rahul Gandhi, who is on a three-day tour of Singapore and Malaysia, came down hard on the Narendra Modia government over a range of issues.

While advocating trust-building measures to resolve the Kashmir issue, he said “You engage with people, you bring people in, you work with people, you trust people. It works. I have seen it for myself.”

“In 2014 when I went to J&K I felt like crying. I saw what a bad political decision can to do years and years of policy-making,” Gandhi added.

On PM Narendra Modi and BJP

In a direct attack on PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi described himself as a person who has no animosity towards people who are against his ideas. “I am a person who has been taught to love even those people who dislike me. I feel no animosity towards anyone who opposes me. This is what makes me different from PM Modi,” he said.

On India-China Ties

Commenting on India-China relationship, Rahul Gandhi said that India should have a peaceful and co-operative relationship with China. Nehru Gandhi Scion said India can challenge China in manufacturing and other employment generating sectors. “I don’t buy the idea that India can’t challenge and compete with China in manufacturing,” Gandhi said.

On BJP Rule

Earlier in the day, speaking at a separate event in Singapore, Rahul Gandhi accused the accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of not paying heed to the issues of peace and tranquility in the country. He said the country was facing “a very polarising situation.”

He said Congress saw the society as a system that has to be kept in balance, asserting that he would work for ushering in a “new Congress” after taking over the reigns of the party from his mother Sonia in December.

“We see society as a system that has to be kept in balance. The BJP on the other hand is less concerned about peace and tranquility. We see very serious dangers of polarising society and risks arising from them,” he said.

Apparently referring to the alleged 2G spectrum scam in which the BJP had consistently targeted the previous UPA government, Gandhi said the system was destabilised between 2012 and 2014.

“We faced a storm in 2012. Between 2012 and 2014 the system was destabilised and we saw the consequences. We have a clean slate now, and a new opportunity. We will present you with a new Congress party that envisions the values you were born with,” he said.

(With inputs from agencies)